Keep electrical safety top of mind during busy holidays

Nearly every household uses extra electricity during the holidays—for cooking, decorating and heating the house to everyone’s satisfaction.

Take extra care to use electricity safely, and to ask family members and house guests to do the same. Some tips:

  • One of the riskiest holiday behaviors is overloading your electrical outlets. Plugging strand after strand of outdoor or tree lights together, plugging them into an extension cord and plugging that into an outlet will overload the outlet.
  • Plugging multiple strands of cords into a power strip does not add any juice to the electrical circuit that powers the outlet you plug the strip into.
  • Check decorative lights for damaged cords, plugs and sockets. Replace anything that’s frayed, cracked or broken. Buy cords that are certified by Underwriters Laboratories; look for the UL symbol on the package.
  • Don’t run cords under rugs, carpets or baseboards. This creates a fire hazard.
  • When you put up outdoor decorations, avoid stringing lights in trees near power lines. Fasten outdoor lights securely with insulated staples, never nails or tacks.
  • Keep electric lights away from decorative metal trees. Also keep all light strings out of reach of small children and pets. Both like to chew the wires!